Artificial Intelligence - Animal Consciousness, Social Cognition, Soul, And AI.

Researchers have gained a growing understanding for animal and other nonhuman intelligences in recent decades.

Ravens, bower birds, gorillas, elephants, cats, crows, dogs, dolphins, chimps, grey parrots, jackdaws, magpies, beluga whales, octopi, and a variety of other creatures have all argued for consciousness or sentience, sophisticated kinds of cognition, and personal rights.

By adding one more prejudice to the contemporary struggle against racism, classism, sexism, and ethnocentrism, the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness and the separate Nonhuman Rights Project mirror the contemporary struggle against racism, classism, sexism, and ethnocentrism: "speciesism," coined in 1970 by psychologist Richard Ryder and popularized by philosopher Peter Singer.

Animal awareness, in fact, may open the way for the investigation and appreciation of other sorts of postulated intelligences, including artificial (traditionally regarded as "mindless machines," such as animals) and alien intelligences.

The knowability of subjective experience and objective properties of other forms of consciousness is one of the most significant topics professionals in many professions are grappling with today.

"What is it like to be a bat?" reportedly enquired philosopher Thomas Nagel, particularly because bats can use echolocation but humans cannot.

Most selfishly, a greater knowledge of animal consciousness might lead to a better comprehension of human mind by comparison.

Looking to animals may also give fresh insights into the principles behind the emergence of consciousness in humans, which may aid scientists in equipping robots with comparable characteristics, appreciating their moral standing, or sympathizing with their actions.

Animals have been utilized as a tool to achieve human goals rather than as ends in and of themselves throughout history.

Cows produce milk that is consumed by humans.

Sheep produce wool, which is used to manufacture clothes.

Horses used to be used for transportation and power in agriculture, but today they are used for amusement and gambling.

The "discovery" of animal awareness may imply that humans are no longer at the center of their own mental world.

The twentieth-"Cognitive century's Revolution," which ostensibly eliminated the soul as a scientific explanation for mental life, opened the door to studying and conducting experiments in animal perception, memory, cognition, and reasoning, as well as exploring the possibilities for incorporating sophisticated information processing convolutions and integrative capabilities into machines.

The possibility of a fundamental cognitive "software" that is shared by humans, animals, and artificial general intelligences is often addressed in emerging interdisciplinary sciences like neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and computer science.

In his book Man and Dolphin (1961), independent researcher John Lilly was one of the first to propose that dolphins are not only intelligent, but also exhibit traits and communication abilities that are superior to humans in many aspects.

Many of his results have subsequently been validated by other researchers such as Lori Marino and Diana Reiss, and a broad consensus has been formed that dolphins' self-awareness falls somewhere between humans and chimpanzees.

Dolphins have been spotted fishing together with human fishers, while Pelorus Jack, the most renowned dolphin in history, reliably and freely accompanied ships for twenty-four years over the treacherous rocks and tidal surges of Cook Strait in New Zealand.

Some animals seem to pass the well-known self-recognition mirror test.

Dolphins and killer whales, chimps and bonobos, magpies, and elephants are among them.

The test is often performed by painting a tiny mark on an animal in a location that it cannot see without using a mirror.

The animal is reported to identify itself if they touch the mark on their own body after seeing it reflected in the mirror.

Certain detractors claim that the mirror-mark test is unfair to some animal species because it favors vision over other sense organs.

The study of animal consciousness, according to SETI experts, may help humans contend with the existential implications of self-aware alien intelligences.

Similarly, work with animals has sparked curiosity in artificial intelligences' awareness.

To give you an example, consider the following: John Lilly discusses a hypothetical Solid State Intelligence (SSI) that will eventually evolve from the labor of human computer scientists and engineers in his book The Scientist (1978).

This SSI would be built out of computer components, develop its own integrations and advancements, and eventually self-replicate to confront and destroy humans.

Some human beings would be protected by the SSI in domed "reservations" that it would maintain and govern.

The SSI would eventually develop the capacity to move the planet and traverse the cosmos in search of other intelligences similar to itself.

Artificial intelligence's self-consciousness has been criticized on many grounds.

Machines, according to John Searle, lack intentionality, or the capacity to discover meaning in the computations they do.

Inanimate things are seldom considered to have free will, and so are not considered to be human.

Furthermore, they may be considered as as lacking something, such as a soul, the capacity to distinguish between good and evil, or emotion and creativity.

Animal consciousness findings, on the other hand, have introduced a new dimension to debates over animal and robot rights since they allow for the claim that these animals have the ability to understand whether they are experiencing good or unpleasant experiences.

They also pave the way for powerful kinds of social cognition like attachment, communication, and empathy to be recognized.

A long list of chimps, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos, including the well-known Washoe, Koko, Chantek, and Kanzi, have mastered an incredible number of gestures in American Sign Language or artificial lexigrams (keyboard symbols of objects or ideas), raising the possibility of true interspecies social exchange.

The Great Ape Project was formed in 1993 by an international group of primatologists with the stated goal of granting these creatures fundamental human rights to life, liberty, and protection from torture.

They argued that these creatures should be granted nonhuman personhood and brought to the forefront of the big mammalian "community of equals." Many well-known marine mammal biologists have become outspoken opponents of fishermen's indiscriminate slaughter of cetaceans or their usage in captivity shows.

In 2007, American lawyer Steven Wise created the Nonhuman Rights Project at the Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights.

The Nonhuman Rights Project aims to give animals that are today considered property of legal humans legal personhood.

Physical liberty (against incarceration) and bodily integrity would be among these core personhood rights (against laboratory experimentation).

According to the group, there is no common law norm that prevents animal personhood, and the law finally allowed human slaves to become legal people without precedent via the writ of habeas corpus.

Individuals may use habeas corpus writs to assert their right to liberty and to challenge unjust confinement.

The Nonhuman Rights Project has been fighting for animal rights in the courts since 2013.

The first case was brought in New York State to protect the rights of four confined chimps, and it contained an affidavit from renowned primatologist Jane Goodall as proof.

The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance requested that the chimpanzees be freed and relocated to their reserve.

The applications and appeals filed by the organization were refused.

Steven Wise has found heart in the fact that, in one judgment, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the subject of personhood is determined by public policy and social norms rather than biology.

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness was signed by a group of neuroscientists during the Francis Crick Memorial Conference in 2012.

David Edelman of the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California, Christof Koch of the California Institute of Technology, and Philip Low of Stanford University were the three scientists most directly engaged in the document's creation.

All signatories agreed that scientific methodologies have shown evidence that mammal brain circuits seem to be linked to consciousness, affective moods, and emotional actions.

Birds seem to have developed awareness in a similar way to mammals, according to the researchers.

REM sleep patterns in zebra finches and equivalent effects of hallucinogenic medications were also discovered as proof of conscious behavior in animals by the researchers.

Despite lacking a neocortex for higher-order brain activities, invertebrate cephalopods seem to exhibit self-conscious consciousness, according to the declaration's signers.

Such views have not gone unchallenged.

Humans should continue to carry legal duty for animal care, according to attorney Richard Cupp.

He also contends that animal personhood may block the rights and autonomy of people with cognitive disabilities, leaving them exposed to decreased legal personality.

Cupp also believes that animals are outside of the human moral community, and so outside of the social contract that established personhood rights in the first place.

Daniel Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist, is a vocal opponent of animal sentience, saying that consciousness is a "fiction" that can only be generated via the use of human language.

Animals can't make up tales like this, thus they can't be aware.

Because consciousness is a story we tell ourselves, scientific disciplines will never be able to grasp what it means to be a conscious animal because science is based on objective facts and universal descriptions rather than tales.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: Nonhuman Rights and Personhood; Sloman, Aaron.

Further Reading

Dawkins, Marian S. 2012. Why Animals Matter: Animal Consciousness, Animal Welfare, and Human Well-being. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Kaplan, Gisela. 2016. “Commentary on ‘So Little Brain, So Much Mind: Intelligence and Behavior in Nonhuman Animals’ by Felice Cimatti and Giorgio Vallortigara.” Italian Journal of Cognitive Science 4, no. 8: 237–52.

Solum, Lawrence B. 1992. “Legal Personhood for Artificial Intelligences.” North Caro￾lina Law Review 70, no. 4: 1231–87.

Wise, Steven M. 2010. “Legal Personhood and the Nonhuman Rights Project.” Animal Law Review 17, no. 1: 1–11.

Wise, Steven M. 2013. “Nonhuman Rights to Personhood.” Pace Environmental Law Review 30, no. 3: 1278–90.

What Is Artificial General Intelligence?

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is defined as the software representation of generalized human cognitive capacities that enables the ...